RELIGION IN WESTERN SECULAR DEMOCRACIES: IN FLUX OR INFLEXIBLE?
This session will seek to better understand current changes in the way religion interacts with the secular, in the context of Western democracy.
The Modern West is being reforged by the collision of globalisation, pluralism, individualism, and mass migration. Are historic sacred/secular infrastructures quaking under the weight of new and changing social movements in ways unimaginable to yesterday’s architects of the modern secular experiment, or rather do they remain robust and relevant bulwarks of the modern secular society? This session will seek to better understand current changes in the way religion interacts with the secular, in the context of Western democracy. In particular, the session will seek to evaluate how and why historic and monolithic roles of religion are being forced into question in the wake of significant demographic shifts due to migration, economics, and radicalized religion. Finally, the session will propose possible trajectories for the future of religion and society in the West. Special attention will be given to issues concerning the public sphere, political secularism, and the recomposition of religious identity.
Aix-Marseille University, France